How Replacing Spark Plugs May Benefit Your Car

Many people carry out routine car servicing without understanding the need for such maintenance practices. However, knowing the reasons behind the practices can help you to appreciate them and drive you not to skip any service. For example, spark plug replacement is useful because it...

Prevents Catalytic Converter Failure

A catalytic converter cleans up dangerous emissions by converting dangerous compounds such as hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide into harmless ones such as water (steam) and carbon dioxide. If it gets damaged, then your car may fail an emission test. To make matters worse, replacing the catalytic converter is an expensive affair that may cost about a thousand dollars. So how does replacing the spark plug prevent this damage?

If a spark plug is damaged, then it may start misfiring and cause your engine to overheat or let unburned fuel reach the exhaust system. Both of these things can overheat and damage the converter because the substrate (the active core of the converter that is usually made of ceramic) may be burned.

Maintains Engine Efficiency and Performance

Spark plugs play an important part in your engine's performance and efficiency. This happens when the plugs fire at the correct time and leads to full fuel burning for each combustion cycle. However, if your spark plugs are damaged, they may:

  • Start misfiring, which leaves high amounts of raw fuel in the exhaust and causes emission of dangerous gases
  • Lead to reduced gas mileage
  • Cause reduced power because the engine does not extract all the possible power from each combustion cycle
  • Cause occasional stalling or difficulty in acceleration

All engine-inefficiency related problems caused by faulty spark plugs can be eliminated by replacing the plugs.

Improves Cold Starting

When starting a car in cold weather, you may have to crank the engine several times.  This takes a huge toll on the battery, and you may even end up running it dead. One reason for this is that the cold thickens the starter oil, which means it may require a higher voltage to spin.  Additionally, the low temperature also slows down your battery's chemical reactions, leading to lower voltages.

These conditions, coupled with worn out or foul plugs, can make it very difficult to start your car in cold weather. This is because they may not deliver the necessary voltage to start the car. You can deal with this problem by replacing your spark plugs.

Therefore, you should replace your spark plugs as recommended by your car's manufacturer. You should also consider a replacement if the plugs are misfiring or when advised so by your mechanic. For more information, speak with experts like The J.A.P. Shop.